By Annie Kearns
There are simple changes that will make your home the place everyone wants to be this Summer– and they are so simple!
How To Make Your Home The Best Place To Be
When kids finish school, they look forward to being able to let their hair down and relax over the summer break. The weeks stretch ahead, and your budget looks far thinner now than it did when you were saving for the summer for them. If your kids aren’t old enough to work over the summer, they need to keep themselves busy so that they don’t get bored. The good thing about children is that no matter their ages, they are perfectly able to entertain themselves and use their imaginations to fill their time.
The question that you want to ask yourself is whether they will choose to hang out at your house with their friends, or will they head to a neighbourhood house instead? There is something major about going to a friend’s house and spending time with them in the summer; the independence and the chance to get out and figure out who they are is encased in those sunshine weeks. But why is their friend’s house calling out as the place to be? What is it that makes them want to escape yours?
Well, parents everywhere want to remain as involved as possible in the lives of their children, even during the summer months. The key to this is turning your home into the one place that everyone wants to be. Sure, the house will be teaming with people through the summer months, but that’s the beauty of making childhood memories.
Making your home as welcoming as possible is the first step, as no one wants to set foot in a home that they don’t feel welcomed into. A warm atmosphere makes a huge difference to the way people feel when they walk in the room. Kids want to be in the home where the parents are happy; the atmosphere is easily picked up when people walk into the house and instantly they feel lifted and happy to be there. Laughter is the best medicine, we all know that, and people are drawn to happy people. If the friends of your children have a house that feel like that, it’s why your kids want to run there to spend their summer.
So, what about your house makes them want to stay? And how can you change things up a little to make it so that your home is the hangout of choice before school restarts again.
Get Some Comfy Furniture Accents
When your kids are begging to be somewhere else during the summer, it can make you question what’s up with your home. Sometimes, it can come down to the fact that their friends have a giant beanbag to lay back on when they play video games, which means that it’s an easy fix for you – all you’d have to do is go and buy one.
Clean Up The Junk
Take a look around your home. Is there junk piled up around the house? A messy house shows the world that you have a messy lifestyle and a messy lifestyle makes people feel uncomfortable when they are visiting your home to relax and unwind. What’s your attitude like? Are you fighting with your partner or other kids? If your teenager is running out of the house to get to other places, you need to ask yourself why. Once you’ve worked it all out, you can start to create the perfect space to hangout in your house.
Think back to the place that you liked to hang out over your summer months and think about how that place became the ultimate teen hangout for you. Your teenager is beginning to spread their wings and hang out in other places, which now puts you in a position to turn your house into the best hangout on the block. This may sound daunting and worrying for you, but you can do this. Bit by bit you can turn your house into the place to be this summer. We’ve listed the ways that you are able to do this.
Be A Restaurant
Okay, you’re not going to be ripping the rooms out and installing booths, but kids coming in and out of your house during the day? Those are kids that need feeding! Teenagers over the summer are gannets for food, always looking for the next snack, the next meal. If yours are coming in and saying they’re hungry, you need to feed them! It’s best to have a heads up with when your kid is feeling hungry so that you can buy in the supplies that you need, so make sure that you sit down with your kids and get their plans for the summer week. They’ll be looking for chips and dips, but you can make alternate healthy arrangements by doing veggie sticks in advance and making homemade dips to store in the refrigerator. You can even invest in a popcorn machine for the summer and buy a lot of toppings to add to it. Give them some autonomy over their food, too, as long as it’s not too unhealthy.
Earplugs Are King
Teenagers are loud. Whether they’re cheering on their favourite sports team or enjoying a video game dance party, they’re loud. You may be in the house to supervise, but it doesn’t mean that you have to listen to it! Invest in some quality earplugs and some spares, so that you can carry on as normal in your home without too much disturbance. Music will be played loudly, but you can still get on with the things that you love in your house such as reading and cooking.
If you don’t have the space for a playroom or a hangout room, your teenager’s bedroom will have to do. During the year, put together a decorating budget for your teenager and let them choose the things that they want to add to their own space. A sofa, some floor beanbags or squashy armchairs may be on the cards so that their friends have somewhere to sit while they chat, and play is usually the top of the list. These don’t have to be brand new, you can both go around the garage sales and hunt on eBay for some great second-hand deals. A spare refrigerator to keep in their bedroom is also a good addition to their space, so that they’re not constantly moving in and out of your kitchen while you do chores or work.
Something To Do
‘I’m bored’ is the war cry of the summer for a lot of kids and so if you can pre-empt this by setting up for activities throughout the weeks, their friends will want to flock to your home. Think about buying a foosball table or a pool table to go in the back garden under a gazebo. Kids may not be able to hold their concentration for very long, but teenagers often revel at the fact they have some way to burn their energy. Building a trampoline into the ground and even having a pool put in can make the summer days so much more exciting. Getting an outdoor kitchen to cook their lunches on can also be a great way to spend time during the summer. Hash out this conversation with your teens before the summer, though, so that you can get prepared for all the things you can get built in outside.
Game Day – Week – Month
Games are exciting for kids; the competition and the participation both make them feel worth something, and it may be summer, but you can bet the rains will come! When the rain hits, you need more than just video games to entertain the kids in the house. Card games, board games and even games like chess are good fun for teens. Of course, video games should factor – teens and technology walk hand in hand – but limit these. You don’t need the kids that visit our home to become screen zombies this summer, it just wouldn’t do!
Running with the theme of a rainy day, you need to be prepared for it to happen. Movie days can happen with snacks and selected films but get the kids to ask their friends to bring a film along as well. You can do one better by adding a ton of blankets and floor pillows and you could even incorporate the ingredients they would need to make their own pizzas to save you cash. They get a lesson in cookery as well as the chance to have something healthy while they watch movies that they love. It creates an environment of fun and makes all their friends want to be in your home this summer.
Summer months are all about forging lifelong friendships and your kids having the time to figure out who they are and what they are about. Over time, the tricks above can end up feeling so natural to you, and having the local kids come right to you during the summer because yours is the place to be? Well, that feels spectacularly good.